The Biggest Little Farm--The Movie
If you’re an organic gardener or you’ve ever dreamed of leaving life as you know it to start farming this is a movie you’ll not want to miss. Ventura County, California is the setting and likely the couple had “investors” but it’s a compelling story of commitment and sustainable farming. Their venture is chronicled from the start. Read the brief piece from the Los Angeles Times below and watch the trailer here. Find a theater near you here.
At 6:30 every Monday morning, the 60-member team at Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark gathers around a campfire in the vegetable garden to discuss what happened over the weekend — maybe a lamb was born, or thousands upon thousands of ladybugs made their seasonal return to the rows of fennel — and what’s on the agenda for the week ahead.
It sure beats a conference room.
Located 40 miles north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, Apricot Lane Farms symbolizes what so many of us daydream of doing: ditching city living, a monotonous desk job and commuter headaches for a back-to-basics lifestyle, say, on a farm. (It’s enough of a fantasy that ABC has a prime-time comedy with that very premise, called “Bless This Mess.”)
John and Molly Chester are living that dream: They left behind their day jobs in L.A. — as a docu-series director and a personal chef, respectively — and have spent the last eight years turning the dry, nutrient-depleted dirt of a former horse ranch into a self-sustaining, biodynamic 213-acre farm that produces fruit and vegetables for some of L.A.’s trendiest restaurants and freshly laid eggs that sell out in minutes at local farmers markets, and embraces topsoil practices that are said to help combat climate change.
“We endured the anxiety of whether it would work,” John Chester said. “You can very easily forget why it is so special when you are mired in the details and the monotony.
Few people would want to document one of the most stressful and humbling periods of their life, but over the last eight years, Chester and a crew of interns and professional movie makers, captured the journey in gorgeous, unflinching detail in “The Biggest Little Farm,”the award-winning documentary opening in theaters May 10.
Todd helped drive his owners out of the city and on to farm life.
(John Chester / Apricot Lane Farms)